Guillen and Royals reach preliminary agreement on $36 million, 3-year deal

By: By RONALD BLUM, AP Baseball Writer
By: By RONALD BLUM, AP Baseball Writer

December 4, 2007

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Power-hitting outfielder Jose Guillen and the Kansas City Royals reached an agreement on a $36 million, three-year contract.

The 31-year-outfielder batted .290 with 23 homers and 99 RBIs for the Seattle Mariners this year. Seattle declined its $9 million option and Guillen turned down a $5 million player option, receiving a $500,000 buyout.

The agreement was subject to him passing a physical, a person familiar with the negotiations said Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made. His deal was first reported by ESPNdeportes.com and foxsports.com.

"We have the obvious need of adding right-handed power to our lineup," new Royals manager Trey Hillman said.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported last month that Guillen bought nearly $20,000 worth of steroids and human growth hormone from 2003-05. Major League Baseball began testing for steroids in 2003, and penalties for first offenses began in 2005. HGH was banned in January 2005.

"We told the commissioner's office my version of this whole affair, which in some ways has been handled with some errors in the media," Guillen was quoted as saying by ESPNdeportes.com.

Guillen, who can play right or left, joins a crowded outfield. David DeJesus is in center, and the Royals already have Emil Brown in left and Mark Teahen in right. Teahen, however, also can play first base.

Hillman said Guillen would slot into the middle of the order if the deal is finalized. He wasn't too concerned about which outfield spot Guillen would play.

"Defensive position is not as important for me as the added potential to the lineup with slug and driving runs in," Hillman said. "It would depend on how some other things fell."


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